Creating a new Will, or amending an existing Will is one of the hot topics during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it is very important that everyone makes the decision to ensure that their Will is up to date. But how do you create a new Will, or amend an existing Will during lockdown?
The requirements for creating and amending Wills are contained in legislation that dates back nearly 200 years, to the Wills Act 1837. This Act requires that in order for a Will to be valid it must be signed and in the presence of two or more independent witnesses. This can seem a daunting task given the current requirements regarding social distancing, however, we are in the best position to be able to provide clients who are self-isolating unique solutions to ensure that they can still sign their Will in a way that complies with the legal formalities.
The current situation with Covid-19 has led the government to recognise the importance of estate planning, and have made steps to categorise solicitors acting in connection with the execution of Wills as essential workers. This move from the government highlights the impetus that has been put on getting Wills in place, or amending your current one during this difficult and unprecedented time. A large number of individuals who have never considered making Wills before have now taken stock of the situation, resulting in an increase in enquiries from either existing clients that wish to update their Wills, or from long-standing clients of the firm that have discussed making Wills with us.
“We have seen that many people have created Wills in the past but not reviewed them for a number of years. During this tough time, it has become clear that any changes to your Will should be made as soon as possible, with such an indeterminable future. We have seen a variety of new enquiries received in the last month which range from an individual in their early 20’s, to a couple in their late 70’s. This really shows the growing demand is coming from all age groups.“
To ensure that we are in the best position to help you create a new Will, or to make amendments to your existing one, we have come up with solutions and adaptations of our own procedures, to ensure we can continue to provide such a vital service and help you achieve this. For example, we are using technology, either by telephone and/or videoconferencing that allows us to take instructions from you without meeting clients in person and obtain ID through electronic providers. We also have structured client questionnaires that allow us to obtain instructions by email.
The importance of having a Will in place has never been under such focus and despite the current lockdown, it still possible to create a Will and we have adopted a range of technology to make sure that we are ready to help you with this.
Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues